The Weak In Review For Women

Kevin Reich

By Kevin ReichThe Daily Northwestern

The growing impetus for change among a majority of feminists is the insufferable idea of what Salon’s Camille Paglia calls “universal female victimage.” The brilliant ultra-sassy-feminist-hates-other-feminists Camille Paglia dreams of a world without the dreary “75 cents for every dollar” rhetoric. For Camille, women supposedly are not just as powerful as men, but powerful in their own right.

Like any social movement, as French academic Gustave Le Bon points out in his essay “The Crowd,” feminists need their heroes (with a feminine “e,” how exciting), their leaders, their movers and their shakers.

Last week, in the vein of Hillary Clinton’s wild ride, culture’s best women across the nation opened exploratory committees for Feminism ’08.

Britney Spears had her chance and could have been the feminist victim, and with a slight twist of fate, she might have been the idyllic pop star, vanquisher of all things manly and K-Fed.

Instead, amid a messy divorce, the imminent custody battle of her two mysteriously-neglected children, the 24-hour rehab and the panty-less escapades, Britney released an Oedipal tempest of self-abuse, shaving her head, getting some ink and heading to the hospital for help, sobbing all the while.

Is this the off-type of subtext-y, situational, Britney’s-power-is-different-than-man’s feminism you speak of, Ms. Paglia? Is Britney somehow asserting herself outside the cruel frame of man vs. woman? Is this power in your own right?

Obviously, no. What Britney had going for her, as many women before her, was her sex appeal. She was sexy, and for a woman, sex is power.

Britney’s weirdo attempt to shave her head was conspicuously appropriate for the victimized feminist. “I can play with the boys too!”

Just when you think that girls won’t make it, someone else comes along – Nancy Pelosi.

Madam Speaker fought a nearly unwinnable battle and got herself an Air Force jetliner – with stipulations, of course – that would fly her to and from her district in California to her post in Washington with no stops. Victoriously, Pelosi proved to the Pentagon the security of Nancy Pelosi was just as important as the security of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Congratulations to our favorite Giorgio Armani-bearing Speaker. You fought your battle long and hard. “I can do what boys do!”

Move over Larry Summers, Drew Gilpin Faust, your successor, is Harvard’s El Presidente, no longer just the dean of Radcliffe.

Sexy, suave and sophisticated is what you girls know best. Feminists with a punch are the Madonnas who use that bearing-it-all femininity and use it well. Nancy, wear your Armani. Britney, perhaps a new wig? And Drew, just try a little.

In the brilliant week for women nationwide, the gender’s best have proved that they’re, sorry Camille, only “just as powerful” as men.

Communication junior Kevin Reich can be reached at [email protected]